Monthly Archives: June 2015

Being a Phoenix

I write best when I’m not under pressure to meet a deadline. When I actually feel strongly about a particular topic. Which is one of the main reasons that the numerous journals I have attempted to keep in the past have never lasted beyond the first two entries. I just don’t do regular.

I toyed with the idea of starting a blog for a long time before I actually took the plunge, so to speak. One reason was the fact that I just could not wrap my head around sticking to a particular topic and writing post after post on ONE topic REGULARLY. That would mean having to update without fail. And I just don’t have the time or energy for that.

No interest either.

To stick to one topic would just constraint me.  It would set certain boundaries and I would need to ensure I stick to it. And I hate categorizing. I hate labels. Period.

I am not incredibly impulsive at heart, like so many people like to proclaim, as though it’s the new cool thing to be. I am not a stickler for schedules either. I’m just a normal person, somewhere in the middle. I react according to the situation.

I am not a stubborn person, although I can be stubborn. I am not subservient, although I can be compliant. It all depends on the environment, and the people around me.

I follow a certain set of practices for worship primarily because I find comfort in familiarity. These are methods I have followed since childhood, so I continue to follow it for the comfort it brings me. However, I don’t constraint my thoughts about the world purely on the basis of one school of thought.

There are certain historical aspects to the religion I declare I follow on all my official papers, as is wont in India, that I don’t completely agree with. And I also find other practices tagged under a different school of thought, that I completely identify with. I don’t find anything wrong with that. Why do we need to be constrained? I can follow certain practices while criticizing others. Shouldn’t our primary aim be to lead a wholesome and just life?

And I don’t care anymore if people label me religious, as though it’s something I need to be ashamed of. I’m not trying to criticize anybody, but I’ve noticed an increasing number of people loudly proclaim that they are not religious, but spiritual. Spirituality is basically centered on the deepest values by which a person lives. I am a spiritual person too.

I can be spiritual while being a little religious.

Being religious does not mean not being secular. I respect all faiths equally, but I also believe in the presence of God, who treats all of us as equals.

Basically, what I am trying to say is that I am neither atheist nor theist, deist nor agnostic, monotheist nor polytheist. I don’t fit into any of these labels because I find exception to at least one clause of each of their definitions. I don’t have a name for my belief, and that’s ok. I don’t need a label.

Which is why my blog doesn’t need a label. I’ll write whatever I want to write, whenever I want to write. It could be fan fiction, which I admit to enjoying at times, when the only similarity is with the names of the characters, but still don’t support whole-heartedly, when the story is blatantly a rip off of an existing series. Some of these ff’s are pretty amazing, with characters so fully fleshed out, so different, so real you’ll wonder why they haven’t been published. These writers needed a forum and an inspiration. Everything else is theirs.

And some are so devoid of substance, just a copy of the author’s work, that you’ll wonder why they haven’t been sued.

My posts could also be an entry on political affairs, or just a simple book review.

It’s just me being me.

Of course I have my moments of doubt. I often wonder if I made the right choice. If I will be able to wade through this ocean of doubt. If I will ever make it in the end.

But in a rare moment of clarity, I am sure of one thing.

I am neither white nor black nor gray. I don’t have a colour.

I don’t fit in.

And I don’t need to.

Dear Saleslady,

Dear Saleslady,

I understand that it’s your job to sell as many products as possible to as many unsuspecting customers as possible. However, I do have a request if you want that to happen.


I am a legal adult, and perfectly capable of making my own choices. The moment I step into the supermarket and head towards the cosmetics section, even before I can lift a product off the shelf to check out its claims, one of you arrive, beaming a terrifying smile showcasing all your 32 teeth. Adding to the setting of a horror movie is the fact that she doesn’t arrive alone, but rather with two other minions, all with the same feral grin, waiting to pounce on their prey rather in the same sadistic pleasure with which Bellatrix Lestrange would have performed the Cruciatus Curse.

I try to politely ignore her while searching for the products I use on a regular basis. However, this proves difficult while she keeps spoutingĀ  the benefits of every single ingredient in every single product that I lift to examine. Frustrated, yet thankfulĀ  that the minions have disappeared off to god knows where, I tell her that I have been purchasing this particular company’s products for quite some time. I am very much aware of the difference between rose oil andĀ  rosemary.

Sensing her dismissal, she bleats weakly about how she wanted to help out if I was checking that chain for the first time, and retreat to a safe distance. FINALLY.

I relish my newfound freedom, finally examining the various masks and balms on display at my own free will, carefully picking out a couple after checking out its properties.Ā  I move on to the range of face washes, wondering if I should try one of the anti-bacterial ones, when I hear something in the background.

Ah. You have arrived.

The conversation goes something like this:

You: Why are you standing so far off?

Saleslady 1: She said she’s been buying these products for some time!

You: ( in a dangerous tone) So?

Lady 1: She said she would pick the out herself…

Not willing to admit defeat so easily, you arrive in front of me, beaming a snarky grin and flashing your ‘EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH TAG.’ You proceed to annoy me even more than the woman before you, forcing hair masks and creams which I discard into my hand, telling me I’m making a mistake and promising me that it will ENHANCE MY YOUTH.

Lady, do I look like a senior citizen to you??

Hoping to shake you off my tail, I move on to another chain, praying that you won’t be as well versed with this one as before.

Good news-you’re not.

Bad news-you persist anyway.

Let me add something here: if there’s one thing about myself that I like, it’s my skin tone. Thanks to all my mother’s concoctions, all traces of suntan have been carefully eliminated on my face. I am fair, and while I’m not prejudiced towards others, this is something that I’m happy to have achieved.

Yet, as I pick up a quick pimple fixer, you ply me with skin whitening products, saying that it will help me achieve the same tone as my arms.

Lady, pay attention. My arms are very much tanned.

Despite the fact that I tell you very firmly that I do not use nor believe in any chemical containing skin whitening products, you keep showing me product after product, ranging from facial kits to pore tighteners to toners and de-pigmenters, insisting that they have been out of stock due to demand. That too, when I can clearly see the manufacturing date was EIGHT MONTHS AGO.

Desperate to have you out of my hair, I decide not to buy anything and rush to the crockery section, hoping for a reprieve. Yet, you insist on following me there, showing me various serums, all to defy the signs of ageing.


You must have finally got the hint, judging by the look on your face, because you beat a hasty retreat and finally leave me alone.

I head towards the bill counter when my mom asks me to pick up a shampoo for her. As I rush back, you pop out of nowhere, now listing countless properties and promising me that the other brand will help eliminate all traces of dandruff. I HAVEN’T GOT DANDRUFF!!!

By this point, I’m just too tired to protest anymore, so, armed with two shampoos instead of one, I head out of the store, swearing profusely under my breath.

Let me give you a word of advice here lady. Your marketing strategy might be toĀ  annoy people into buying stuff just to get them to leave you alone, but that doesn’t help ok? Seriously. I might have taken the shampoo, but just to get rid of you, I did not buy several products I had my eye on, simply for the reason that if I pick something with wintergreen in it, you try to force every single product with wintergreen into my hand. Just the thought of repeating my refusal at least three times for each one of those was too exhausting, so I moved away.

You want to retain that shiny ‘EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH’ tag?